Skip to main content

Bristol Festival of Ideas 2015

Coleridge Lecture:

Reimagining the City

By Melissa Harrison at Wills Memorial Building Reception Room, Bristol
2nd April 2015
Shelley thought “Hell is a city much like London” when he was writing in the early 19th century
1851 Urban population exceeded rural population in the UK, 1st time in the world that this had happened in a country.
It was thought city living “led to death of society”.
[I think that may have something to do with the Palace of Versailles culture.]
Today 82% live in urban environments with the following benefits:
·         Boosted immune response
·         Better mental health treatment
Birdlife saved in UK in 1962 by book “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson about the damaging effects of DDT use as a pesticide to the food chain.
·         Bird of prey who are at the top of the chain were affected by a build up of DDT in their bodies and the effect was that the egg shells became thin and lost integrity leading to a rapid decline in bird populations
Nowadays bees like to dwell in cities to escape from the neo-nicotinoids being used as pesticides in the countryside.
Buddleias are an example of a modern invasive plant into the urban environment that has had a beneficial effect on the environment:
·         Created and supporting an entirely new urban food chain
·         Proving invasive new species can be a good thing

City dwellers can experience a new sense of wonder that exposure to nature will bring.


Popular posts from this blog

LETTERS TO BEN: Accessing Better Housing in Bath

Notes from Energy & Utility Forum 2017

1. Robert Symons, CEO of Western Power Distribution said: “Energy demand could rise by 100% by 2030. Smart grids will be needed to manage electric vehicle charging so that the usage does not exceed the supply capacity at any time during the day.” 2. Spoke to Harry Vickers, Business Development Manager of Camborne Energy Storage, Camborne Capital at the Energy and Utility Forum in London on October 23rd 2017. He told me his company is working with Elon Musk to bring Tesla battery grid storage solutions to the UK. 3. Spoke to Sally Barrett-Williams, Chairman of Energy and Utility Forum on October 23rd, who said subsidies for solar projects had ended and her company’s focus has shifted to energy storage schemes. 4. Spoke to Simon Dowland, PhD, at 13:00 on Sunday 29th October, Simon is now working up in Cambridge at the Cavendish Physics Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, he is working in industry for the company Eight19 Ltd a spin off from a research project to bring ne

Camden Crescent and Hedgemead Park

Camden Crescent at the centre of the image, just above Hedgemead Park viewed from Prior Park Landscape Gardens Here are my thoughts: Did you know that Camden Crescent, originally Camden Place and Upper Camden Place (which is now round the corner) was named after the Earl of Camden, Charles Pratt, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer so sponsored the scheme with his symbol on every door and crest of the exchequer on the decoration at the centre of the crescent? Charles Pratt was actually lord of Camden Place in Chislehurst in Kent. He was mates with William Pitt the Elder from Eton and Cambridge days. It was built 1788-1792 by John Eveleigh the architect.  One third of the 22 house crescent collapsed during a landslip which claimed 136 houses on the slopes of Lansdown Hill leading to the creation of Hedgemead Park below Camden Crescent. John Eveleigh was notoriously bankrupted in Bath, being called to the coffee shop in the Bath Chronicle by his creditors. Earl Camden was famous